Apple rumor Monday: Nehalem Mac Pro, new Airport Extreme and Time Capsule in FCC, Mac mini box

Lots of Apple rumors today following the weekend whispers of a March 24 desktop hardware event, and they fall neatly along the plausibility spectrum:

  • First up, we'd say a bump of the Mac Pro to Intel's upcoming Nehalem-EP Xeon processors is looking quite likely -- famed OS X hacker netkas was poking around in a test build of OS X 10.5.7 and found support files for i7 chips lurking about, as well as drivers for ATI's Radeon 4000-series GPUs. If you're making a chart, this one's right up there with an NVIDIA-powered iMac refresh -- it's a pretty obvious move.

  • Second, new entries for the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule have popped up in the FCC, and while the listed dimensions are exactly the same as the current editions, there are no model numbers and something internal has to have changed enough to raise ol' Sammy's brows. That could be as simple as a new radio hardware supplier or bigger drives, but if we were placing bets, we'd say both units are getting updated for simultaneous 5GHz and 2.4GHz operation -- Apple's really high on 5GHz for laptops and Apple TV, but the iPhone and iPod touch are 2.4GHz-only. Let's call this one even odds, shall we?

  • Lastly, a new picture of that improbable five USB port Mac mini has surfaced, this time purporting to show the outside of the box. Considering the Photoshop wars the last image of this thing set off, we'd say this is the least likely candidate for a Philly Schills reveal, but then again, Apple's been pretty leaky lately.

That's everything we know -- anyone else have something to share with the group?

Read - Ars Technica on the Mac Pro
Read - New Airport Extreme FCC listing
Read - New Time Capsule FCC listing
Read - One More Thing Mac mini image [Via TUAW]